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Why are police blamed for enforcing state, city laws?

Is accountability a personal issue? I’d like to think it is. We learn about it in grade school and it’s taught to us by our parents. So, I wonder, why do the people police meet during enforcement activities have every story under the sun about why they were breaking the law?

During this past week, citizen excuses were running a parallel to the national news stories. While our issues — maintaining the status quo — in Boulder City didn’t receive national attention, they did catch ours. Whether it was speeders or arrestees, everyone had a story.

Lake Mead’s mesmerizing beauty was condemned by visitors for speeding to their Hoover Dam tours. Boulder City’s finest, my brothers and sisters in blue, were blamed for enforcing Nevada Revised Statues. The city was blamed for not permitting oversized vehicles in our downtown. One officer was blamed for enforcing the requirement to register one’s vehicle. Imagine, how could the officer do that? Oh, sorry, it’s the law!

And finally, personal decisions to commit other criminal acts were blamed on personal decisions to abuse alcohol or narcotics. A lot of finger-pointing went on this week.

However, thank goodness, there was a light at the end. A driver I encountered during a zero-tolerance campaign for speeding renewed my faith in the driving public. Like a child who had been caught with a hand in the cookie jar, the driver lowered his head, accepted responsibility for driving 20 miles over the speed limit and not having the boat trailer registered. After receiving the almost $1,000 ticket, the driver shook my hand and thanked me for doing my job — keeping the community safe.

It may have been an act, but I knew that driver understood my job. Why? He was a retired police officer.

The only thing you control is yourself. Take pride in the decisions you make.

“Control, 269, I’ll be in-service with the crew.”

On July 21, officers get dispatched to a vehicle rollover. These collisions are the worst. Wait a second, it’s in the Vons parking lot. What happened? As officers arrive in emergency mode, they learn the driver is out of the vehicle walking around. No injuries, thank goodness. The driver reports that a flip-flop got caught under the accelerator.

July 22, officers arrive to a disturbance at the Utah State apartment complex. Apparently, tenants are moving, clothes are flying and tempers are running high. Officers are familiar with the subjects and know there’s more to the story. Drugs have been used, but reminders of their use are always near. The young adults are charged with possessing drug paraphernalia.

On July 23, officer responds to the report of vehicle versus a wall. Doesn’t sound good. Near the top of Wyoming Street, officers find a truck that was driven into a concrete wall. It occurred at a slow speed and no one was injured. The driver was not in possession of normal faculties. After a few field sobriety test, the driver was arrested for DUI with an accident.

July 24, it was a hair past 1 a.m., and officers find one of our new, local ex-felons wondering around the area of Little City Grill. His head covered by tattoos rather than hair, did not serve as good camouflage. He must have forgotten he was trespassed from the location days ago. The subject was arrested and out-of-town accommodations were arranged.

On July 25, parking downtown isn’t easy, especially if you drive a large truck. Unfortunately for some people, these big machines will have an impossible time fitting into the parking spots off Nevada Way downtown. Nevada Way is a Nevada state roadway and cannot be blocked or obstructed by a parked vehicle.

July 26, a homeowner off Gypsum Court finds two subjects rooting through his garage. The subjects are confronted by the homeowner and leave the opened garage. About 10 minutes later, the male subject comes back and returns the things he stole from the homeowner’s garage. The suspect leaves. Officers arrive and complete a burglary report. Please remember to close your garage.

On July 27, a caller reports a pit bull attacking a cat. The caller reports the pit bull has the cat in its jaws. Officers arrive to find the dog calmly on a leash. The dog’s owner is contacted. The owner arrives and is cited for animal running at large. The cat’s owner didn’t want to press charges. The deceased cat was taken to Animal Control.

I hope everyone had an exciting time. It was great having you ride along. And remember to continue being great BC, I think Norman Rockwell painted us.

Officer Jeffrey Grasso is a 10-year veteran of the Boulder City Police Department. He previously served as a police officer in south Florida for four years.

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